On a Magic Carpet
Thomas Oschwald & Bettina Marti
On a Magic Carpet Through Greece
«We cannot direct the wind. But we can adjust the sails.» - Aristoteles, Greek Philosopher-
Greece has long belonged to the biggest travel hot spots for those looking for relaxing and entertaining beach vacations. It is mainly the Greek islands that fascinate travelers year over year. It is a fascination that I, as an adventurer, can only minimally share. Beaches and coves plastered with rows of umbrellas and crowded bars, souvenir shops and restaurants show even the biggest dreamer that tourism reigns here in this country. It is a trend that will not be stopped and many sun-seeking tourists love it. For my partner Bettina and I, the tumultuous crowds were the reason for us to adjust the sails. We asked ourselves what Greece was like back when Aristoteles searched for the meaning of life and being?
«It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that things are difficult.» - Sokrates, Greek Philosopher -
Straight to the point: We found it. Our gamble to discover Greece on our own with our Stand Up Paddleboards paid off and was a great success. Breathtaking cliffs let us feel small and fragile. Crystal clear water exposed new worlds deep beneath our SUPs. The fresh and healthy mediterranean cuisine charmed our taste buds. Empty coves and beaches were found far away from the sun-seeking masses and thundering party music. Greece showed us its most beautyful side and we could only begin to fathom how wild and pristine this land once was and partly still is.
But it was a difficult path. It was no easy task fleeing from all the tourism. We could easily spot the distant beaches that were easily accessible by car due to the rows upon rows of permanent umbrellas. But the idea that the beaches one couldn’t drive to would be empty turned out to be quite wrong as we saw a party boat anchoring in a beautyful cove. But as the saying goes: The magic is always in the detail. And so, we could ofteen immerse ourselves in the untouched beauty of Greece just a few hundred meters away from the tourist hot spots.
As a Natural Being, Man is bound to his Body. As a spiritual Being, however, he has Wings. - Plato, Greek Philosopher -
Tourism, however, does have its advantages. We never had to carry much on supplies or lots of water with us, for example. We could always restock on food and provisions at a restaurant or near fishing village. We learned to appreciate that both worlds have their benefits. The knowledge of this lent our spirits the wings to discover and absorb the beauty of this country.
After three weeks, we came to the decision that an untouched pristine Greece does still exist. Not to be found on every corner as it was hundreds of years ago, maybe, but hidden in small fishing villages, secluded coves and elevated olive groves. Whether fully packed with supplies and provisions for many weeks or with a inflatable SUP spontaneous short trips, those who want to discover Greece off of the tourist paths, can find that a SUP board supplies the perfect „Magic Carpet“ for big and small adventures.